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Three-time Grammy winner Steve Wariner is acclaimed for his instrumental abilities, his singing, his producing, and his hit songwriting. He has charted some 30 top-10 singles, and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1996. His latest recording, Steve Wariner, c.g.p., My Tribute to Chet Atkins (SelecTone Records), came out earlier this year. About his musical hero the man he credits with jump-starting his recording career Wariner says, "Try to do what he does technically. Then try to do it with his touch, tone, and feeling, and you're reminded that you can't out-Chet Chet. He was something else."
Cowboy Jack Clement
"I've got a bunch of people who say I'm a genius," Cowboy Jack Clement once said. "That don't make me a genius. But you've got to be pretty smart to get all them people to say that on cue." Clement is a producer, songwriter, recording studio pioneer, publisher and performer. He was born in Whitehaven, Tennessee, in 1931. After a stint in the Marines, he played in a bluegrass band, then got a job at Sun Records, mixing sessions with the likes of Johnny Cash, Charlie Rich, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins. Later, he moved to Nashville and went to work for Chet Atkins. He launched the careers of Charley Pride and Don Williams, and over the years he has collaborated with a who's who of musicians - from George Jones to U2, Townes Van Zandt to Doc Watson, Garth Brooks to Emmylou Harris. Clement has recorded two of his own albums: All I Want to Do in Life came out in 1978, and Guess Things Happen That Way (Dualtone) was released in 2004.
Dave Rawlings Machine
Several years ago, guitarist, producer, singer, songwriter Dave Rawlings well known for his work with Gillian Welch came up with the notion of stepping out front and recording as Dave Rawlings Machine. And he did. Friend of a Friend (Acony Records), his first solo album, was released last November. "Songcraft as soul-baringly timeless as Twenties Delta blues," was Rolling Stone magazine's four-star assessment. With Dave on tonight's performance: Gillian Welch, Morgan Jahnig, Ketch Secor, and William Watson.
Andra Suchy spent her childhood on a farm near Mandan, North Dakota, the daughter of two talented singers. By the time she was in grade school, she was traveling around, doing concerts and festivals with her family. These days, she sings with several groups in the Twin Cities area including the all-girl trio The Dollys. She also works as a back-up singer and as a jingle singer on commercials for White Castle, Target, and more. Andra's solo CD is called Patchwork Story.
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band
The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band is led by A Prairie Home Companion music director Richard Dworsky. A masterful keyboard player, composer, and improviser in any style, he writes all the script themes and underscores, and he has accompanied guests from James Taylor to Renée Fleming. His latest CD is So Near and Dear to Me.
Chet Atkins called Pat Donohue (guitar) one of the greatest finger pickers in the world today. And he writes songs too recorded by Suzy Bogguss, Kenny Rogers and others. Freewayman (Bluesky Records) is the most recent of Pat's nine albums.
Gary Raynor (bass) has performed with the Count Basie band, Sammy Davis Jr. with whom he toured for several years and the Minnesota Klezmer Band. He teaches jazz bass at the McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.
Peter Johnson (percussion) has played klezmer music with Doc Severinsen and jazz with Dave Brubeck. He was a drummer for The Manhattan Transfer and for Gene Pitney. He has toured the world, but he always comes back to home base: Saint Paul.
Originally from Cloquet, Minnesota, pedal steel player Joe Savage made his way to Minneapolis in the 1980s. These days, he is a fixture on the Twin Cities music scene, performing with a number of artists in addition to keeping up his work as a studio musician.
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).